As in the last year, we start 2018 with a new SAP S/4HANA Cloud release and additional innovations. In this blog I will take some time to outline some of the highlights we have for the professional services industry with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1802.
Handling Non-Billable Work with in Professional Services
Let us begin with an innovation that supports the need of the professional services industry to provide services to customers without charging them.
There are various reasons why professional services companies offer these services free of charge, for instance to win customer deals, in the ramp up phase of a project, to make a goodwill gesture, or in order to extend free support on their implementation projects.
This new functionality with the 1802 release gives project managers the opportunity to plan non-billable work packages and resources in "time and expense" projects.
After the planning cycle the consultants will be able to do their time recording as usual.
These “non-billable” items will then also be visible in the “Release Billing Proposal” app with an automatic write off capability.
Basically, there is a new “Billing Control Category” when planning resources in the project, in which the project manager can decide whether specific items are billable or non-billable.
With this innovation, project managers can already add hours in the project plan that consultants will spend on internal meetings, calls and emails, or on trainings and automatically write them off when they work on the billing proposal.
Credit Memo Request Workflow
Another new feature with the 1802 release is the Credit Memo Request workflow. The process begins with an internal sales prep creating a CMR that requires the approval of his sales manager or in the concept of professional services the project manager.
The sales manager or the project manager will receive a notification in the notification center, which brings him or her directly to the app needed in order to approve or reject this workflow, this app is “My Inbox”.
There are two prerequisites to make this process work. First, the teams and responsibilities were defined by the Business Process Specialist in the system and second, the workflow threshold was defined by the Configuration Expert. This means that it needs to be defined at which sum of the CMR an approval by the sales or project manager is needed.
Personalization Setting for Planning Application
The next addition to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud functionality in the area of Professional Services that I want to mention is the personalizing settings in the project planning application. With continuous improvements and new innovations, we also bring new categories and therefore additional sections in applications of our product. The non-billable item I mentioned before is a perfect example for this.
In our February release we bring the possibility for project managers to personalize the “Plan Customer Project” application, the end user can add or remove the required fields and personalize his view to which criteria he would need when planning customer projects.
Add more task types with the new SSCUI
And speaking of flexibility and continuous improvements, also in this release, as with previous releases, we are continuing to work on the possibilities for our customers to configure the existing functionality to their needs.
One SelfService Configuration UI that I want to introduce with 1802 allows you toconfigure task types in SAP S/4HANA Cloud for time recording purposes.
You can now create new task types like for example overtime, on-call duty and more, that will appear in the time recording app with the four standard task types for Administration, Education, Training and Miscellaneous.
New check before closing projects
With 1802 there is a new check logic implemented for setting status of a project to closed. This is needed, because from the perspective of an accountant, a cost object must not be closed as long as there are balance sheet balances on this cost object.
With setting the status “closed” in the project management app “Plan Customer Project” on the information tab of the project, the system checks if there are any balances on revenue recognition balance sheet accounts (“WIP”). We check this for all billing items and for all ledgers.
There is an exceptional check in the IFRS 15 scenario. In this case the balances will stay on the balance sheet accounts on item level. Here, we check in addition if these balances cleared on header level.
Financial Plan/Actual comparison on project level
When working with projects, it is essential not only to show the actual values, such as costs, revenue and margin, but also the originally planned baseline values. With the 1802 release, we are introducing a new comparison of actual values to planned baseline values will show how profitable the project was in the end. One example for this could be the resulted margin in a project can now be compared with the planned baseline margin in the beginning of the project.
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